Thee Angel Project

A year of writing a little bit of everything. Writers Write, Right?


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a cut and paste…and a public service announcement

So, this was my Facebook status on Saturday evening:
“A week ago today Child #2 had a fever and a sore throat. We took her to the Dr. on Monday…strep. Child #4 woke up Tuesday with a fever and a sore throat…strep. Just last night Child #5 presented with a fever and after a visit to the Dr. this morning…you guessed it…strep. We got home tonight and Child #1 has a fever and a sore throat. I am seriously considering having Child #1 lick Child #3 right on the face so that Child #3 will be on meds before Child #2 is off of them. Lord, have mercy.”

Sunday morning I woke up with a fever and…not a sore throat, but…did you know…(this is the public service announcement part) that nursing moms get strep in other places? Yep. It’s not called strep though, it’s called mastitis. Everything I found via Google said that nursing an infant with strep was not a big deal. I even asked about it at the doctor’s office when we took Youngest Daughter in and they told me I had nothing to worry about. Oi Vey.

God bless my husband who took one look at me when he got home from church and said something like, “We’re going to the ER.” God bless ER doctors that ask things like, “Do you think you have enough pain meds?”

I’m feeling so much better today! Ready to tackle the germs that have been bullying my family and looking forward to future days when we no longer line up for medicine in an army roll call like fashion. Remember the picture of Youngest Daughter eating cereal? That’s pretty much the face we get as soon as she sees us coming with that lovely amoxicillin syringe. Poor thing.

Moms of young children (of children who were once young) give me your best strep, flu, cold…story.

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where two or three are gathered: month 3!

Welcome back friends!

Today is the 20th of the month and you know what that means…it’s time to sign up for our Where Two or Three are Gathered month long link up!

Where Two or Three are Gathered...a different kind of blog hop!

You know the drill…but in case you’re new. Check this out. There you’ll find the origins of the idea for this time together and a couple suggestions for making this month a time of growth for everyone in our group.

As always, there are 20 spots available. Sign up, then go get your friend, someone you admire or whose writing you enjoy, and invite them to play along with us.

You can visit the group members by clicking on the Where Two or Three are Gathered image on your page or follow my month 3 Pinterest board.


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to the girl who sits the bench

You don’t go unnoticed. I know it feels like that at times, perhaps all the time, but it’s just not true.

I see you sitting there waiting…for the coach’s eyes to meet yours, for the nod that means you’re getting in the game. I see the disappointment on your face when you’re taken out. I see the frustration and anxiety that comes with feeling like you don’t measure up. I once was you, wishing for the chance to play, critiquing every point that was scored while I sat. I know.

I know that in that place and at that time, what goes on between those lines feels like the whole world to you. Let me remind you, it’s just a fraction, a tiny part.

I know that where I sit from where you are seems so very far away, a lifetime, but let me assure you I can’t remember the last time I even thought about my time sitting with the least bit of sorrow. It just doesn’t happen. The time when they were playing and I was not only mattered for moments, not weeks, not months, certainly not years. Moments. Remember, this is only a fraction of your life, a fraction of who you are. You are so much more.

I do see you sitting there, but here’s what else I see…and this is the truly important part.
I see your perseverance, your desire, your love of the game. More so I see your care for the people who play it along side you. I see you congratulate your teammates and attend to their needs. I see you as a part of the team in ways that are too often overlooked. They’re not overlooked by me. I see you.

Take a look down the bench. No, not yours. The one on the other side of the court. Look at the other team. Do you see her? The one sitting? The one just like you? You are not alone. You’re part of a sisterhood, one that spans the decades. I’ll say it again. You are not alone, not even close.

to the girl who sits the bench...

While the crowd watches every movement of the ball, I watch you. While the crowd lives and dies with every point, I couldn’t care less about the score. While they cheer victories and agonize over defeats, I only cheer, for victory is found in you simply being there.

I know those hours can seem like wasted time. Perhaps you could spend them differently, but take heart, they are not wasted. Here’s what will come of your time. Those moments waiting will help you to be a patient mother, an empathetic physician, a thoughtful teacher, a compelling businesswoman, an eloquent speaker, a devoted wife, a faithful friend. You will be one who is described with words like integrity and grace and virtue and charitable and marvelous and strong.

Girl Who Sits the Bench, you don’t go unnoticed, not at all. You stand out in the most glorious way.

For those of you who also sat the bench (and maybe even those of you who didn’t) 🙂 …please share below any additional stories or words of wisdom and encouragement.


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how we’re doing

I had a lovely friend ask me yesterday how we’re doing. If you were with me throughout our last weeks in Kansas, through all of the madness, through the baby having and baptizing, and holy week surviving, and house hunting, and box packing, and goodbye saying, you would know, it’s a good question.

Our women’s Bible study at church began a couple weeks ago. It’s a bit like an oasis in a desert. Just a taste of the things to come. I forgot how long it takes to get to know people in a new environment, and how crucial all of those “in addition to Sunday morning” activities can be when getting to know a new church family. I am looking forward to that day when instead of being in an oasis, I’m on an island surrounded by all of the knowledge and love and joy in this journey I can possibly take in. I know it’s coming. I can feel it.

Walking into the sanctuary of our new home is beginning to actually feel like home. I know where the silverware is kept and the paper cutter too. I have yet to take on the dishwasher or the sound system in the fellowship hall, but those both feel like second half of the first year kind of things.

Seth has been crazy busy getting to know our new families and I am keeping up…eh, no I’m not. I’ll get there eventually. It hasn’t been until this week, yesterday in fact, that I can see a light at the end of this tunnel of our unscheduled madness. Usually I am a roll with the punches kind of girl, but with my family being in three, sometimes four, sometimes five separate places on any given day, I find myself often fumbling around for a sense of familiarity. This has been the case though for the past…well, since February. We’re all just trying not to drop any proverbial balls. So far…so good…I think.

School for the bigs is going well. A funny thing happened on the way back into the classroom setting though. I learned that I really no longer care about grades. Really, at all. I used to think of them as a good measure of how my children were doing in school, but have since learned, through the learning of my children themselves, that they are really only a fraction of the story of their days. I’m not upset about F’s and I’m not enamored by A’s. If they’re learning the material and are enjoying their days, I could care less about the rest. The boy left his homework folder at home today, so all of today’s work will be late. Neither Seth, nor I, am running it back to him. He’ll learn. We’ll see if that new found, “meh,” attitude sticks. I hope it does.

Built on the Rock is back in session too and this week we added some preschool-ish type activities to our days. Trying to get Youngest Daughter to cooperate with some sort of schedule is impossible with the rest of us fumbling about. It’s like the chicken and the egg thing. I can’t keep my students on schedule without the baby’s day being consistent…and the opposite is also true. We’re trying to also fit in times for Seth and I to work out a few times a week, a much needed aspect of our days for health and sanity as well. Once we get that figured out, I can hopefully squeeze in some reading and daily personal devotion time as well. You would think finding an extra thirty minutes in the day and the energy to do something that requires attentive brain cells, would be easy. I’m working on it. We’re almost there.

Thank you for asking, dear friend. Thank you.

 


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insert big exploding heart sounds here

“Party Packs headed for House of Neighborly Service in Loveland, CO. They include–gift bag, cake pan, cake mix, frosting, candles, plates, cups, napkins, forks, table cloth, and balloons. Such a great honor to add the last four packs to the 39th birthday stair climb of a certain daughter-wife-mother. Once again so proud to be your mom and dad.”

Party packs

“I went to church today, and what did I find? THIS! 18 beautiful bags of birthday party kits for the food banks! Made my heart glad and proud, thank you for the inspiration! We will probably distribute them to various food banks!”

Party packs 4

“Our birthday bags are packed and headed to SWKS to hopefully be a blessing to someone out there. Just wanted you to know your birthday blessings are far reaching!!”

Party packs 2

This.

Party packs 3

And of course, this.

I think we ended up with a total of 48 bags! God is good, I know this to be true. I have evidence of His grace and mercy and love and compassion and peace every single day.

But the fact that He works through you…just because I ask, blows my mind. Really. Completely. (Insert big exploding heart sounds, here.)


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that time when…

…you are fairly certain your husband-pastor spent much of last night rewriting his sermon just to say all of the things about forgiveness and relationship and the value in one another that you needed to hear. Only, you know he didn’t actually do it, well, because you asked him, and you know that the words spoken were probably ones meant for more than just you… however, you wish that from now on he would tell you how the Holy Spirit is moving him to preach so that you would know what stumbling blocks you need to be on the lookout for that week and also so you wouldn’t get whiplash nodding in agreement about what an idiot you have been, are, will be again.

Did you listen to the readings this weekend?

The one about Joseph who was a bit of a cocky young man, but never deserved a slew of brothers who despised him enough to sell him as a slave. Who didn’t deserve to be thrown in jail, falsely accused by Potipher’s wife. And the brothers who didn’t deserve to be forgiven, but that were, and then given the finest of all that Egypt had to offer them.

The one from Matthew (Have I said how much I love this book? It’s enchanting really.) reminding us that forgiveness is not just a gift that we receive, it’s also one that we can give, that we’re invited and encouraged and expected to give…especially to those who in our eyes don’t deserve it because, uh, hello, that’s us too. Every. Single. Day.

Excuse me while I look up this Sunday’s verses…(You can find them here.)


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sabbath rest

After posting every day for three months, I missed yesterday.
Guess what? Nothing happened. The Earth still spins, the sun still rises, my children still argue and then squeeze the life right out of me with hugs.
I am a bit of a control freak when it comes to stuff like this. That might be putting it nicely. I’m an all or nothing kind of gal. So when I went to bed on Friday without posting anything, this entire project’s success lie in the balance.
Guess what? Nothing happened, except everything that was supposed to happen in my real life, actual, in my face, tactile world.
So, here’s the new plan…
For the next three months, I will post only when I actually do have something to say. It might not be anything stellar, but this will be a time when I post because I want to, not just because it is part of the project, and I feel like I have to. Hopefully that will still be about three or four times a week, with time set aside for rest.

For today, enjoy your sabbath rest.


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what i loved, laughed, and learned today

What I loved today…
Watching my son run cross country. Really, everything about it. The course, the drizzling rain, the fact that he was all muddy afterwards, that he never stopped to walk and was thrilled about it, the running back and forth to see him as much as possible, his kick at the end.
The cookies I made for our volleyball tournament this weekend. Sooo delicious!
Oldest Daughter’s attitude about homework. She didn’t come home with a ton, but it was enough that it could have proven frustrating. She took it in stride. That’s my girl.
10,000 steps! This hardly ever happens during the week!
Oldest Daughter quoting the fourth commandment along with its meaning because she thought that I would love that she knew it. I do.
Reading “The Mixed Up Files…” with Oldest Middle and coming upon the end of the chapter unexpectedly. We wanted more!
My six, soon to be seven month old. Have you smelled baby cheeks lately? Head to toe she is just remarkable (even if she never, ever, ever sleeps through the night.)

What made me laugh today…
Youngest Middle in her black long-sleeve sparkly shirt underneath her brown tank top sparkly shirt, paired with red pants that were so last year she can now wear them as capris (can, but perhaps should not,) and yellow and pink crocs.

What I learned today…
You can get crayon out of a battery operated pencil sharpener by melting it out, but that will render said sharpener useless.
Refrigerating cookie dough makes for fluffy chewy cookies as opposed to flat-stanley ones.
I think I might actually like doing the dishes. I know! I am as shocked as you are! Laundry is still a big fat no because there truly is no end to that, but dishes? I had maybe a whole 30 minutes today where every dish in the house was clean. It was bliss I tell you.
Sometimes the graded papers your son hands you at the end of the day he really does need back. Oops.

What did you love, laugh, learn today?


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i choose sleep

After eight hours in the car and an evening at church, tonight I choose sleep over writing.

Where Two or Three are Gathered friends, this is my day to remind you to come back on the 20th to sign up for month three. I’ll get caught up on reading all of your loveliness tomorrow.

This is the day the Lord has made. Rejoice. Be glad!


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the woman at the well

I’ve been eating a ton of apples lately. Apples and peanut butter, I could live off the stuff. It’s odd for me though, because the crunch of an apple used to make me squirm. I’ve always enjoyed the taste and could eat them in other forms, but to take an apple off a tree and bite right into it is something that has eluded me for years. My relationship with peanut butter is similar. I recently had about a year and a half stretch where eating anything containing peanuts would put a knot in my stomach. Neither one of these can I explain, nor the fact that all of a sudden, snack time seems to revolve around this combination of deliciousness. What I do know is that I now have an intense craving for this combination…all the time. (Nope, not pregnant. Had to be said.) I had no idea what I was missing! Simply stated, they belong together.

The woman at the well in the fourth chapter of John had no idea what she had been missing either. A relationship that lasted, yes. Companionship with other women, yes. A community in which she was valued, yes. The ability to be forgiven and to forgive herself, maybe. A peace that had for years eluded her, certainly. Little did she know it would come in the form of a stranger who by all rights should have had nothing to do with her, less even than nothing. Their chance meeting (chance in her eyes, not in His) at Jacob’s well should have put knots in both their stomachs. Not so. Jesus comes to her with ease and a quiet comfort and says words like these, “Look, I know what you’ve done. I know why you’re here in the middle of the day all by yourself. I know that you have no man to stand by you, to look out for you, to value you as I value you. But I offer myself to you as the ultimate sustaining, life giving, sin burying, Savior.”

If God’s grace is sufficient for her, an outcast in her family, her society, even in her own mind, His grace is sufficient for you too.

Precious.

Honored.

Loved.

Redeemed.

All words He uses to describe you.

He meets you at the font and at the feast and at the well of His thirst quenching word.

He has called you by name. You belong together. You belong to Him…all the time.